We married in Washington, DC, 15 years ago, and now live in France. We have three kids. We have been living separately for about a year. Neither of us feels in a rush to get a divorce. Still, it seems inevitable, and it would probably help now to clear up the legal issues surrounding this and also the associated unresolved (or “unformalized’) financial and parenting matters. Where should we start? Neither of us is keen to start this in France. So where should we get divorced…what are the implications, and can we get a lawyer to help prepare the way by drawing some kind of separation agreement?
Most states have residency requirements before it accepts jurisdiction over a divorce matter. A couple cannot simply select the most convenient forum to initiate a divorce proceeding. New York State, for instance, has a one-year residency requirement before it will accept jurisdiction over a divorce matter. You should consult with an attorney in the jurisdiction you prefer to see if the courts will take your matter. In any case, however, you should consult with an attorney experienced in matrimonial matters in the jurisdiction, which will determine your divorce.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions